I recently read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and loved it. I love Mark Manson’s blog so I was excited to read this book when it came out. I highly recommend reading it. What I took away was that we need to challenge what our current beliefs are because we are most likely wrong. Also, that we also also not as big as we think we are, our problems are not that big of a deal, we are not so special. There are billions of people in the world, do we really think others don’t have similar dreams, issues, dilemmas?

Here are my takeaways from the book: (all direct quotes from the book)

Subtlety #1 – Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different.

True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving

…part of living in a democracy and a free society is that we all have to deal with views and people we don’t necessarily like. Thats simply the price we pay — you could even say its the whole point of the system.

We should pick our battles carefully, while simultaneously attempting to empathize a bit with the so-called enemy.

If you want to change how you see your problems, you have to change what you value and/or how you measure failure/success

Many people become so obsessed about being “right” about their life that they never end up actually living it.

It is easier to sit in a painful certainty that nobody would…appreciate your talents than to actually test those beliefs and find out for sure.

We assume we know how the story ends

Nothing is for certain until is has already happened.

In relation to people of the future: They will laugh at how we let our money and our jobs define our lives. They will laugh at how we were afraid to show appreciation for those who matter to us most, yet heaped praise on public figures who didn’t deserve anything. They will laugh at our rituals and superstitions, our worries and our wars

…once we create meaning for ourselves, our brains are designed to hold on to that meaning. We are biased toward the meaning our mind has made and we don’t want to let go of it. Even if we see evidence that contradicts…

The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it.

There is little that is unique or special about your problems

When you assume that your plane is the one that’s going to crash, or that your project idea is the stupid one everyone is going to laugh at,… you’re implicitly telling yourself “I’m the exception; I’m unlike everyone else; I’m different and special”

This is narcism

you feel your problems deserve to be treated differently

If somebody is better than you at something, then its likely because she has failed at it more than you have

Motivation – an endless loop

inspiration -> motivation -> action -> inspiration -> motivation…

There is no reason to ever give in to one’s fear or embarrassment or shame, since its all just a bunch of nothing anyway

Dogs don’t sit around and worry about their career. Cats don’t think about their past mistakes or wonder what would have happened

…once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death…we can then choose our values more freely, unrestrained by the illogical quest for immortality and freed from dangerous dogmatic views.

My Favorite Subsection – The Sunny Side of Death

This was my favorite part of the book. We get so caught up in OUR life and OUR problems that we forget that we’re all bound for the same place. We are all living in the world together, why not show some compassion?

Keep death in mind at all times in order to appreciate life more and remain humble in the face of its adversities

Confronting the reality of our own mortality is important because it obliterates all the crappy, fragile, superficial values in life.

…death confronts us with a far more painful and important question: What is your legacy?

Death is the only thing we can know with any certainty

The only way to be comfortable with death is to understand and see yourself as something bigger than yourself; to choose values that stretch beyond serving…

The gravity of entitlement sucks all attention inward, toward ourselves, causing us to feel as though we are at the center of all of the problems…, we are the one suffering all the injustices, we are the one who deserves greatness over all other

We are so materially well off, yet so physchomogically tormented in so many low-level ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause.

The pampering of the modern mind has resulted in a population that feels deserving of something without earning that something, a population that feels they have a right to something without sacrificing for it.

You too are going to die, and that’s because you too were fortunate enough to have lived.